Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube

Healthcare Workers: From “Heroes” to Targets of Police Repression

After months of being praised by NYC politicians as “heroes” in the “battle against Covid-19,” we as healthcare workers of NYC are now being attacked and arrested by the city for fighting against another deadly global pandemic: the police.

Facebook Twitter Share

Para leer en español

On June 4, the NYPD bum-rushed, kettled, and trapped hundreds of protesters in the Bronx at the FTP4 action organized and led by BIPOC Bronxites, in one of the most brutal acts of protest repression and crackdown yet this week in all of New York. Organizers were teaching Bronx history, raising chants and weaving through the streets and housing developments, as police presence tightened around the crowd. Before the 8PM curfew arrived, police had surrounded the group and begun beating, gassing and arresting protesters. Some who intended to leave before 8 o’clock were also arrested before the curfew and had their citation times altered by their arresting officers.  

We healthcare workers were arrested and prevented from assessing many protesters with serious injuries who were cuffed on the ground crying for help, some visibly bleeding. Police informed us they had their own medics, but had only two FDNY EMTs to triage a crowd of more than a hundred people. Police also refused to allow us to help people whose hands were zip-tied and visibly purple, only loosening ties on one protester, borrowing our shears. After detainees – who were prevented from even shouting their names and identifying information to legal observers nearby – were packed into jail cells scattered across multiple boroughs, the NYPD then followed protesters offering jail support, again including medics and legal observers with correct documentation, to their vehicles where they again arrested essential workers for “curfew violation.”  

Make no mistake: if it wasn’t clear before, it should be clear from this show of force that the police have declared war against the poor working class Black and brown communities of the Bronx.  


By arresting and charging healthcare workers in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, the police have proven once again that their purpose is not “to protect and to serve” the people, but rather, to protect the ruling class and private property and uphold white supremacy by terrorizing Black and Brown communities. The NYPD is the most well-funded and organized gang in the city, protected by their “union,” the Fraternal Order of Police, which defends racist killer cops at every instance. The NYPD, under the leadership of Democratic Party politicians like DeBlasio and Cuomo, continues to crack down with impunity on those who stand up against them, refusing to wear masks, spitting on protestors, and mocking those who ask for this basic protection when packed into tight jail cells. The police are a pandemic, a deadly force that continues to maim and kill people – especially Indigenous, Black, brown, transgender, undocumented and poor people. When the Covid-19 pandemic claims more lives in the wake of uprisings across the nation, the blood of these murders will add to the already bloodsoaked hands of the police.

As the movement continues, we see various attempts at co-optation. Democratic politicians propose various reforms that the capitalist system can tolerate, but that ultimately will not lead to decreased deaths of Black and brown people at the hands of the police. The capitalist state continues to prove it is not a vehicle for actual progress around these issues. Instead, it is a vehicle for suppression and co-optation of movements demanding changes to murderous systems. Abolishing the NYPD is contingent on the eradication of these Democratic Party politicians and all other champions of the police, as well as the entire capitalist machinery of gentrification, worker exploitation, prisons, and for-profit healthcare in the city. In their place, we will build institutions of community control, where pandemics of racial capitalism no longer suffocate and power is in the hands of the people.  

Facebook Twitter Share

Guest Posts

University of Michigan Campus Protestors Are Keeping the Focus on the Genocide in Gaza

For the past two weeks, the encampment at the University of Michigan has been a site for collective learning and broad public information campaigns.

Ryan McCarty

May 8, 2024

Statement: The People’s Art Institute Denounces Chicago Police Attack on Student Encampment

On May 4, the administration of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and Art Institute of Chicago (AIC) sent Chicago Police Department (CPD) and SWAT police to attack a student encampment. We republish the encampment’s statement recounting the events and denouncing the repression.

Echoes of Resilience: Even Beyond Gaza Palestinian Families Are Torn Apart

A nurse from Nablus in the West Bank talks about how the war has affected work and even in vitro fertilization.

Occupy Against the Occupation: Protest Camp in Front of Germany’s Parliament

Since Monday, April 8, pro-Palestinian activists have been braving Germany's bleak climate — both meteorological and political — to protest the Israeli genocide in Gaza, and the unconditional German support for it. 

Erik de Jong

April 20, 2024


Pro-Palestine encampment at UCLA in May, 2024.

“The Working Class has the Power to Stop this Genocide”: Interview with a UAW 4811 Rank and Filer

On Thursday May 15, 48,000 UAW Academic workers voted to authorize a strike, the largest academic workers union in the country to do so. Left Voice interviewed UAW 4811 member Peter Ross about what sparked this historic vote, and the labor movement’s fight for Palestine

Julia Wallace

May 16, 2024
A rally in Brooklyn, people hold up UAW signs

University of California Academic Workers Authorize Strike to Defend the Right to Protest

48,000 workers are one step closer to going on strike to demand that charges and academic sanctions be dropped for the students and faculty who protest the genocide in Palestine and UC’s financial and academic ties to Israel.

Madeleine Freeman

May 16, 2024

Nakba Day: CUNY Faculty Stand Against Repression and for Palestine

On Nakba Day, faculty across different CUNY schools mobilized for Palestine and against the repression of protesters. The actions, organized through an assembly of workers, point toward the solidarity needed to continue and expand the student movement and fight for a free Palestine.

Fight to End the Genocide in Gaza and the Repression of the Palestine Movement. For an Anti-Imperialist, Internationalist, and Revolutionary Movement of Young People and Workers!

On May 15, or Nakba Day, the youth of the Trotskyist Fraction - Fourth International took part in mobilizations across the globe in protest of the “new Nakba” — Israel’s ongoing genocide against the Palestinian people which it perpetrates with the complicity of the imperialist states.